The relationship between fecundity and fertility in the mouthbrooding cichlid fish Tilapia leucosticta



The development of fry in the mouth of the female mouthbrooder Tilapia leucosticta Trewavas is described. The egg production by fish of various lengths is plotted and a curvilinear regression for standard and total length fitted. The number of eggs produced is approximately equal tothe square of the total length in centimetres of the parent fish. The brood numbers of 460 femalesare plotted against length, and linear regressions for mean brood number and mean fry number fitted. The relationship between the expressions for numbers of fry brooded and egg production gives anestimate of brooding efficiency that decreases with increasing parent length. Individual female fish show signs of reripening and the timing of this process is estimated from gonad state and from the length of fry brooded in the mouth. The relationship between fecundity (egg production) and fertility (fry brooded) is considered and the effect of maturation size, growth rate and spawning frequency assessed.